Ryqueze McElderry-Georgia football-Georgia recruiting
4-star OL Ryqueze McElderry is a Class of 2023 prospect out of Alabama. (Courtesy photo)
Courtesy photo

BREAKING: 3-star junior OL Ryqueze McElderry commits to Georgia football

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This entry is about the latest 2023 commit to Georgia in 4-star OL Ryqueze McElderry

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Georgia built up a big lead. It looked like the Bulldogs were going to take the prize, but then came Alabama with a last-ditch rally.

The Crimson Tide swooped in, gave it a big push and yet still fell to Georgia in the long run.

That’s a different DawgNation ending, right? That’s probably the one that most of the red-and-black faithful have wanted to see in a head-to-head with ‘Bama for a few rounds now.

That is pretty much what went down today with the commitment of 3-star Alabama offensive guard prospect Ryqueze McElderry. The Anniston resident ranks as the nation’s No. 27 interior offensive line prospect and the No. 395 overall recruit on the 247Sports Composite rankings for the Class of 2023.

The young man even wore an Alabama hoodie to his decision reveal ceremony at Anniston High School.

McElderry had an all-SEC final group of five schools before Alabama came in with the late offer back on Nov. 19. His final group at that time included Georgia, Kentucky, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The young man actually visited his in-state Tigers and the Crimson Tide on back-to-back weeks before this commitment to the Bulldogs. The Anniston High standout was also at the Iron Bowl in Auburn this past weekend.

The 6-foot-3.5, 325-pound junior then took an immediate visit to check out Tuscaloosa in the midnight hour of his recruiting process.

Not this time, Saban.

The relationships and goodwill built up since Georgia offered the young man known as “Rock” to those who knew him well dating back to last summer.

McElderry came to visit Georgia for the South Carolina and the Missouri games.

“Everything stood out,” McElderry said. “The fans. The atmosphere. The student section. Everything really, sir. I can’t really just say one thing. Everything was a great experience.”

When he said those words, it was evident there was a big smile on his face.

“Watching the light show [at South Carolina] was big,” McElderry said. “So was watching the team stretch before they took on the opponent.”

It also sounded like his commitment was only a matter of time.

It was. Not this time, ‘Bama.

He had initially planned to make his commitment on his birthday earlier this month but decided to hold out until Nov. 30. The timing and logistics there just made more sense for him and his family.

McElderry now becomes the eighth commitment in the 2023 class for the Bulldogs. Georgia is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation for the 2021 college football season and No. 1 in both the upcoming 2022 and 2023 recruiting classes, too.

That’s quite the trifecta to hold for the present and future of Georgia football.

Check out his junior highlight reel below.

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Ryqueze McElderry commits: What it means for DawgNation

When it came time to the “with that being said” part of his commitment decision, he had six water bottles stacked up in front of him in the colors of his final six schools.

He initially reached in another direction, but then went to the red Georgia bottle. It was at that time he pulled off that Crimson Tide hoodie to reveal Georgia gear underneath.

McElderry’s family at the table also mirrored that quick-twitch wardrobe change. Those SEC schools had been recruiting him to play guard.

“The best part of football for me is just pushing people around and moving them around against their will,” he said. “I like to try and break them out there on the field.”

The budding anime and cartoon artist said he works so hard on the field to one day be able to support his family. That’s his “why” for playing the game.

“It is my little brother and my momma,” McElderry said. “I want to be a great role model to my brother and show him what hard work and dedication are all about. My ‘why’ is for my Mom. Hopefully, I will go to school and play football well enough to make it to the NFL so she wouldn’t have to work every ever again.”

Markesha Montgomery was a big fan of this choice.

“The same things that I think about Georgia well she thinks those very same things,” McElderry said.

She also encouraged him to play football.

“She’s always been there and I grew up without a Dad,” he said. “She was always a single parent and she put me in football because she thought it was the best way to make me into a man. She raised me, but she thought that football would be the perfect strong suit to raise me right without a man in the house. That is exactly what it did.”

He turned 17 years old on that initial Nov. 22 commitment date this month. That is the one he postponed until today.

“Rock” had been a silent commitment to Georgia. He had seen Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee at games in the 2021 season.

He used the word “different” to describe how he feels about the Bulldogs? What does he like best about the program?

“Everything,” he told DawgNation prior to his public decision. “Just the whole school. Everything just fits right. Like it all just fits. I just know that one school is just the right school for me.”

Why was he ready to make a decision today?

“Because the school that from the first day I met them I always had a great relationship with them,” McElderry said. “They always stayed in touch. They were always checking on me to make sure everything was good with me and asking me if I could come to the games. They were always wanting me to come and to make it. They told me they were always really impressed with me as a player. They wanted to see me in their program. It was just a whole lot of love from the beginning when I first met the school. The staff, the coaches and everyone there and everything.”

It sounded like he had been ready to make that commitment to Georgia for quite some time.

“I was going to do the commitment on my birthday,” he said. “But I had to have a little bit of change of plans. But it is still going to be a very good birthday present.”

McElderry said that offensive line coach Matt Luke told him about how he planned to use him at the Missouri games. Georgia assistant offensive line coach Eddie Gordon was also a constant daily presence in the recruiting process for him, he said.

“We had a good conversation at the Missouri game,” McElderry said. “Coach Luke told me I want to put you at guard and pulling and just knocking people out.”

Georgia landed a commitment from 3-star offensive guard Ryqueze McElderry on Tuesday.
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